If youâ€™re vegetarian or vegan and were hoping to try the new Impossible Whopper from Burger King, you may want to pay attention to the fine print.
A vegan man is suing the restaurant chain for false advertising, alleging they â€œdupedâ€ customerâ€™s into eating the meat-free patty.
However, the Impossible Whopper is cooked on the same broilers as the normal meat patties unless specifically requested.
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 19, 2019
Thereâ€™s been a big push from Burger King to market the meatless patty. Theyâ€™ve gone so far as to trick customers with a blind taste test.
However, at the heart of their ads, Burger King has been trying to convince meat eaters they will like the plant-based burger. The fact their product provides new offerings for people with more restrictive diets was a bonus.
The Impossible Whopper is not cooked on separate equipment, unless asked for, and even then, it would be microwaved instead of flame broiled.
The man who filed the lawsuit points out that the ads claim the Impossible Whopper is â€œ0% Beefâ€ and the drive-thru he ordered from had no verbiage about how the patty was cooked.
The talk around the burger has mostly focused on possible nutritionâ€”or lack of nutritionâ€”value of the burger. There was less talk of the burgerâ€™s veggie credentials.
This new lawsuit has brought the ire of vegetarian and vegan people who believed the burger would be friendly toward their diets.
If serving vegan food, BK should be more responsible. Then again, there are some employees who don't give a damn about anyone's orders carnivorous or otherwise.
— Jasmine [DF] (@UndertheJROSE) November 19, 2019
— Mireya M Lousteau (@Borgias4ever) November 20, 2019
Wait woahhhhh woahhh woahhh https://t.co/a5b994XPyh
— TheAfroPuffGamer (@TheOldGamer4) November 19, 2019
I'm trying real hard to not read the replies but this is actually a big freaking deal
if you've been vegan a long time, you can get really sick from eating meat plus it's a sanitary thing https://t.co/fPPwfF3xmI
— ShikaNaru420ðŸœ (@yuriboats) November 19, 2019
However, the companyâ€™s webpage for the Impossible Whopper has included a footnote that would make a vegan pause.
â€œFor guests looking for a meat-free option, a non-broiler method of preparation is available upon request.â€
That method is being heated in the microwave. Even if you have the restaurant cook it that way, the Whopper naturally comes with mayonnaise, which would also have to be requested to be removed.
This controversy first cropped up when the nation-wide rollout of the burger took place earlier this year.
Despite the natural presence of eggs, vegetarians thought it would be a good option, until Burger King acknowledged very quickly that the Impossible Whopper is cooked on the same broiler as chicken and beef products.
This has led some to think the lawsuit is frivolous.
I'm a vegan, but this is counterproductive. Millions of people are eating the #ImpossibleWhopper, Beyond, JUST, etc when they would otherwise eat factory farm meat.
— Jacy Reese (@jacyreese) November 19, 2019
When you go to BURGER king to go vegan https://t.co/4MqRhDgRiN
— Scot Pollard (@ScotPollard31) November 19, 2019
For me itâ€™s comes down to weighing out the ethics.
Id rather have a little meat juice touch my meh impossible whopper than not go there at all. The more we vote with our wallets the better it gets. I donâ€™t want restaurants not even bothering because of buttheads like this guy.
— James F (@SuperFletcher64) November 19, 2019
Veganism isn't an allergy to meat and dairy. If microunits of beef fat end up in my veggie burger, I'll live. I'm very happy that companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger are making great vegan products in fast food chains… 3
— Kim Crawley (@kim_crawley) November 19, 2019
This is the center of the defense. A simple inquiry by the customer would have revealed that the food was â€œcontaminated.â€ Burger King nor Impossible never positioned the product as vegan. Simply plant-based. Huge difference. Still trying to determine where the misleading occurred
— Justin Dawkins (@jdawkinsatl) November 20, 2019
This led to heated debate over the veggie patty.
Some believe Burger King should have a grill dedicated to the vegetarian option. Others think they need to be more up front about the cooking method.
Still more are just happy to have more meatless options. While the Impossible Whopper is not the vegan holy grail, it is a positive step towards reducing our meat consumption.
Whether or not the lawsuit is successful, the story has ensured every vegan and vegetarian is aware of how the patty is prepared.
The thoughts on every side of this issue are being shared across social media, as people ask what Burger Kingâ€™s responsibility is.
Vegans are finally starting to have meal options at mainstream restaurants, including fast food. I too want to be able to go through the drive thru and get a burger and fries. Why is it such an offense to have those options available for people with dietary restrictions?
— Anja Pogarcic ðŸ§ (@anja_academ) November 19, 2019
Itâ€™s been advertised for awhile that theyâ€™ll prepare it seperately if you ask pic.twitter.com/nWEAUGavSZ
— DominicðŸ›´ (@BigDemonFishy) November 19, 2019
if you advertise something as being vegan than it needs to be 100% vegan…
— sydneyâ€™s seeing harry 7/25 (@sydneyannaleese) November 19, 2019
Wow, very hot take and VERY inclusive
— michael a. phillips (@ItsMichaelP) November 19, 2019
I personally feel it makes sense to buy vegan products if they become available in these outlets since their popularity will encourage the company to provide more meat free options. Has worked in supermarket chains. I appreciate the grill issue.I was encouraged to see this option
— sarah underwood (@sarahundart) November 20, 2019
Regardless of the outcome, the fact we have a way to reduce meat consumption is very important. Climate scientists agree we need to cut back.
In order to raise the animals for our meat products, massive amounts of forest land is cleared. Livestock contribute to greenhouse gases and the ocean suffers pollution from these mass farms.
Despite this, the demand for beef products is very high. The USA saw a ten percent increase on their already high beef consumption in 2019 compared to 2015.
Products like the Impossible Whopper can bridge the gap to reduce meat consumption. And having it at a national fast food chain makes it much more available to the consumer and cuts back the number of meat patties Burger King might have sold.
Weâ€™re unfortunately not at a time where vegetarian and vegan people can order from a non-vegan restaurant without asking about their order. But we have reached a point where Burger King is limiting its use of ground beef burgers.
If you’re looking to fulfill some vegan munchies cravings, the GLUTEN FREE and VEGAN Healthy Snacks Care Package (28 Count) is available here.
Sorry, but no burgers in the snacks.